Horizontalism in Argentina: From Ruptures to Revolutionary Landscapes
Sitrin, Marina Aline
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Title: Horizontalism in Argentina: From Ruptures to Revolutionary Landscapes Marina Aline Sitrin Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology at Stony Brook University 2011 Throughout history and around the world, there are moments, such as the popular rebellion of the 19th and 20th of December 2001 in Argentina, when the ways in which people see things drastically changes, when something occurs that allows alternative ways of seeing and being - creating rupture and opening cracks in history. This dissertation addresses what happens in the wake of this rupture, and how the often inspiring moments which emerge in that space can become longer lasting, transforming the ruptures into quotidian revolutions. The central question of how to bring about moments where history breaks open, where imaginations are freed and where new landscapes are developed, upon which horizontal social relationships and new value production is created, is addressed by this thesis. The movements in Argentina manifest some of the key components necessary for the long lasting transformation of communities, the creation of new social subjects, and the path towards alternative value production. It is precisely the new social relations, as an integral part of the new movements, which create the longevity of these movements. Distinct from past examples, the movements in Argentina are not striving towards an end goal, a thing to take, or the big moment, revolution, or the storming of a Bastille. The movements that are discussed in this dissertation see their day to day creations as the revolution they are making. It is the use of horizontalidad as a tool and a goal, along with autogestiÇün, taking place in territories, both geographic as well as in the imagination, that come together to create dignity and freedom in the present. It is not a distant goal or promise of a new society or State, but the creation of the new inside of the old. These transformations of the every day continue, and have continued these nine years. They face, and will likely continue to face a great many challenges, as is discussed and analyzed in this thesis. One of the main questions raised in these pages is what it means for a movement to succeed. This is taken in sections, first analyzing what the movements are and what they are breaking from (chapters 1-3), what the various new relationships mean, such as horizontalidad, politica afectiva, autonomy and power (chapters 4-7), how they are creating new concepts of work and value production (chapter 7) and then bringing these relationships and concepts together when addressing the role of the state and the challenges to autonomy (chapter 8). Last, chapter 9 argues that the autonomous movements in Argentina cannot be measured with a yard stick or a pre-set ideological framework, but in a more complicated, and simultaneously simpler way. Measurement of success is done through the day to day transformations of people and social relationships, in their creation of dignity. The chapters in this thesis outline the prefigurative movements, which hold many of the answers to the meaning of success.